samuel x. brase likes to write

Foundation: Scope

Posted in novel planning by Sam X. on 11 May 2009

The scope of this project is huge. I’m getting cold feet regarding the scope; not overall, but at least initially. Let’s look at the arcs I laid out last week, hmm? In the first book, I introduce probably 80% of the main characters, at least two secretive groups, a fake economy, a fake empire and rebellion, and an entirely new galaxy for readers to wrap their heads around.

So I don’t know, you tell me — is that too much?

No poll necessary; the answer is yes. That’s too much. That kind of scope is acceptable from the third book and on, maybe even the end of the second book. The less I dunk the reader into, the more mystery is created, the more desire to stick around for the entirety of the series. I need to trim it down. I need R2D2 in the desert, Bilbo Baggins and his magic ring, the Dursley’s and their family-embarrassment of Potters.

An introduction to mystery where you don’t even realize you’re curious until it’s too far, far too late. You’ve bought everyone in your family a copy.

I think the initial skirmish on Nasirryah, between Ellis, Old Spy, and Vizol would meet this requirement. We meet two of our charming main characters — old man Ellis and the neophyte Spy — plus the mysterious Vizol, who will change sides frequently. In fact, this initial action introduces two of the prevading mysteries of the story: is Vizol good or evil, and what exactly is Yehidah? Instead of switching to Leone, Ferry, and Lane, I think I’ll stay with those three characters for a good while, anywhere from 100 to 300 pages. That’ll give us a good grounding in the galaxy.

We’ll take it from there. At a certain point, for this story to be told properly, the scope is going to blow up. But I can give the readers at least one book of narrow view.

Update 1: While it seems that Star Wars is the primary source of inspiration for this story, I would argue that there is no singular inspiration. Star Wars is a great story, but focused on a handful of major events. The entire original trilogy is built around two battles. I think that, realistically, New Hope and Empire would be one written book. Or, as two separate books, they would have a lot of additional scenes and battles.

As I have expressed many times, I want to write an epic story, but I also want to play around in this universe that I’m creating. That’s really where the episodic idea of my storytelling would fit, but we’ll see if that ever happens.

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